Archive by Author

Quick Smoke: My Father Connecticut Toro Gordo

24 Mar 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

My Father Connecticut

When My Father Cigars introduced the Connecticut in 2014, Janny Garcia told Cigar Aficionado it was “the one cigar that was missing in our lineup.” Apparently, it still is. It didn’t show up in the listing of “our brands” on the My Father website. Nonetheless, it’s well worth checking out. With a beautiful light brown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and binder and filler tobaccos from the Garcia’s Nicaraguan farms, it’s a mild cigar that has plenty of taste, even starting with a little pepper. The blend is creamy, smooth, and well-balanced. I smoked the Toro Gordo (6 x 60) because it was the only vitola available at the shop I visited. I’d prefer a smaller ring gauge (like the Robusto pictured), but it certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Galera 1936 Box Pressed Chaveta

22 Mar 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Since seemingly no one in the cigar industry can resist commemorating an anniversary, it’s no surprise that the La Galera 1936 Box Pressed was introduced in 2016 to celebrate 80 years since the Blanco family opened its factory in the Dominican Republic. With an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Dominican binder, and Dominican Piloto Cubano and Criollo ’98 filler, I thought the Robusto (5 x 50, $7.50) offered promise. But it began with a bit of harshness and didn’t begin to smooth out until roughly the midpoint, when I picked up light spice and earthiness. The harshness returned in the final third. Construction was fine, with a solid burn and good draw.

Verdict = Hold.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Oliva Master Blends 3 Torpedo

4 Mar 2019

When first reviewed this line (both the Churchill and Robusto) almost a decade ago, Master Blends 3 was the latest iteration of a limited edition that greatly enhanced Oliva’s standing among cigar enthusiasts.

Now, while Oliva still refers to Master Blends 3 as the third in “a series of limited artisanal blends,” you can find them almost anywhere.

The lightly pressed Torpedo (6 x 52)—one of a trio of available Master Blends 3 vitolas—has a list price over $14, but I’ve seen them as low as $4.25 per stick online when bought 20 at a time.

Master Blends 3 remains a fine smoke, worthy of the strong ratings it garnered in both previous reviews. It kicks off with a burst of cedar that recedes after about a half an inch. Soon, other flavors advance. Along the way I enjoyed tastes of nuts, leather, and sweetness that moved between syrup and cinnamon. The Nicaraguan ligero filler provides a kick and some pepper, especially in the final third.

My only complaints include a fairly flaky ash and several touch-ups being required on each of those I smoked. Not that that was surprising, given the thick, oily nature of the dark sun-grown Broadleaf wrapper that encompasses the Nicaraguan Habano binder.

Each line in the Master Blends series sports a different wrapper. I never smoked the first, but I fondly recall Master Blends 2 as a terrific smoke. There’s been an occasional rumor that Master Blends 4 is on the way. So far, however, rumor is all that’s come out.

And with the sale of Oliva a few years ago (in 2016, Oliva was acquired by the Belgium-based J. Cortès Cigars N.V., a family-owned business focused primarily on machine-made cigars) and former CEO José Oliva stepping down this year to devote more time to politics, it’s even less clear whether anything will happen.

Hopefully, at some point there will be a Master Blends 4 release. I’d like to smoke one. Until that time, though, we can enjoy the Master Blends 3.

For me, the Torpedo is equal to its siblings and also rates four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Rocky Patel Special Reserve Sun Grown Maduro Robusto

24 Feb 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

With its dark, thick, sun-grown Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, this cigar trumpets its maduro nature. The flavors went along as well, presenting mocha, coffee, and chocolate, especially in the second half. I didn’t experience the pepper referenced in other reviews, which was somewhat surprising given the Nicaraguan binder and filler. Strength was on the upper end of medium. The Robusto (5 x 50) is box-pressed and solid; so solid, in fact, that I was immediately concerned about the draw. That turned out to be unnecessary. The draw was fine, as was the overall experience.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R 54

19 Feb 2019

When Fuente introduced this line almost a decade ago it went with one trend and against another.

Cigars at that time were starting to get bigger, and Magnum R included four vitolas with ring gauges above 50, including a then-monstrous cigar (6 x 60).

Many cigar makers were also gravitating toward more powerful blends, seemingly competing to see who could get farthest up the Scoville scale. Not Fuente, at least not with Rosado Sungrown Magnum.

The blend of a thin sun-grown Ecuadorian wrapper and Dominican binder and filler was designed to be a flavorful smoke with medium strength. For my taste, they got it just right.

From the wrapper’s pre-light floral aroma to some light pepper in the final third, Rosado Sungrown Magnum is a most enjoyable smoke. The first note I registered was a sweetness at the start. Within a short time, leather and nuts began to intermingle with the sweetness.

As with many Fuente cigars, flavors in the Rosado Sungrown Magnum are nicely balanced.

Rosado Sungrown Magnum is not a highly complex cigar, and changes along the 6.25-inch frame were fairly subtle. Frankly, though, I wasn’t eager for the profile to morph too much because I found the overall experience so pleasant.

For this review, I smoked four Magnum R 54s. (The number denotes the ring gauge for all but the 44, which is named for the number of smokes per box; it has a 47 ring gauge.) Each burned slowly and evenly. Smoke production was excellent, with a light finish. The draw was near perfect.

At a retail price of around $8.50, I consider it a bargain. For those of you who favor Fuente’s more high-profile cigars such as the various Opus iterations or the elusive Shark, give the Rosado Sungrown Magnum line a try. I think you’ll be pleased.

I rate it four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Epicure

11 Feb 2019

When I started smoking cigars, the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur was my first real go-to smoke. I went through lots of them. I was captivated by the smooth, creamy texture and strength that seemed ideally suitable for my palate. Some years later, in 2006, I reviewed the Excalibur Epicure and gave it four stogies.

In that review, I remarked that I could remember the first one I smoked. I still do. It was at Signature Cigars in Rockville, Maryland. Although I’d had other cigars, this was the one that really made an impression and let me know smoking cigars could be something special.

I think it was recently enjoying the Tatuaje Verocú that got me to thinking about other cigars I hadn’t had in a while. So I bought a five-pack of Epicures, a robusto (5.25 x 50). They retail these days for a little under $8, but I picked them up online for under $3 each. Quite a bargain.

At first glance, Excalibur looked exactly as I remembered with a smooth, golden brown Connecticut shade wrapper. When I lit one up, I felt I could have been back in that Maryland cigar lounge.

The tasty blend of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan filler inside a Connecticut Broadleaf binder hit the spot. It started with a bit of pepper mixed with sweetness. For a few more puffs, the pepper increased then faded as I tasted some wood and coffee.

There weren’t a lot of changes, but that was by no means a negative, as the Excalibur was satisfying from beginning to end. Each of those I’ve smoked burned evenly, produced lots of smoke, and had an excellent draw.

When Excalibur was introduced in the early 1990s, it was designed to be a bit less powerful than the regular Hoyo do Monterrey line. It was a hit during the cigar boom and continues to sell.

These days there are 18 vitolas, including Natural and Maduro. They range in size from a 3-inch miniature to the 7.25-inch No. 1.

I recommended them before. I recommend them again. Excalibur is a fine cigar still worthy of four stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Tatuaje Verocú No. 1

1 Feb 2019

A couple times each week we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

The other day I was wandering around the humidor of a local shop on the lookout for something new and intriguing. Nothing seemed to pique my interest. Then, I spotted an old favorite: Tatuaje’s Verocú line. I loved this cigar in all its iterations, as previous reviews confirm. On the other hand, I hadn’t smoked one in years. I picked up this 6.25-inch beauty with a 52-ring gauge, wondering whether I’d feel the same. The short answer is yes, without question. It is a balanced, smooth, and slow-burning cigar. Strength lies in the medium range and flavors include floral notes, pepper, and coffee mingled with rich tobacco sweetness. With a $10 price tag, the Verocú toro grande is truly one of the great cigar bargains.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys